All too commonly scholars take a piecemeal approach toward the work of medieval intellectuals such as Albert the Great (d. 1280), with a view to understanding singly his contributions to the history of science, various philosophical approaches, or theology, as if his mind was somehow compartmentalized. Furthermore, in spite of great advances in studying the history of occult subjects, modern writers sometimes still lapse into writing about medieval astrology as a superstition. This study suggests that we should consider medieval intellectual thought holistically, as a product of a different rationality than that which is dominant today. In order to illustrate this approach, I examine astrological belief within Albert’s thought as rational and consider some of the theological reasons why Albert was fascinated with this topic.
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